Do you want to know the benefits of a call to action?
Read to the end of this blog and receive $500.
Now, do you feel more or less likely to scroll through this blog post having read that?
In the interest of honesty, there’s nothing at the bottom of this blog outside of proven CTA strategies that can increase your conversions and make your business more successful.
But the fact remains, finding the best way to motivate someone can make the difference between securing a customer and letting a lead slip away.
That’s why a call to action is important.
Now we’re not for a moment saying you should offer your customers $500 for visiting your website.
What you should offer them though is something even more valuable.
The answers they’re looking for.
Figuring out their greatest problem and positioning your business as their greatest solution is the secret to your success.
And we’ll show you exactly how to do it through call to actions that captivate, compel, and convert
Let’s start moving towards success.
What is a Call To Action?
There’s a good chance you’ve heard the term ‘Call to Action’ before. Often shortened to CTA, don’t let the catchy acronym fool you.
Your CTA will be one of the most valuable weapons in your marketing arsenal.
In practical terms it’s just a sentence or two.
But when it comes to turning leads into sales, the purpose of a call to action is to be your closer. Your headhunter. Your number one salesperson.
Think of it this way.
With magnetic copy you’ve grabbed their attention while your accompanying pictures and videos were further examples of what you’re offering and how your business will make their life better.
Now you need to convince them to make a leap of faith.
Your CTA is there to convince the reader to take that next step.
This might be to make a purchase, download an eBook, sign up to a newsletter, or simply find out more about your products and services.
It’s the voice in their ear that says “Go on. This is what you NEED”.
It’s tempting to leave your CTA saying “Submit” or “Buy Now”.
After all, these are the classics, right?
In an age when online shoppers are more savvy than ever, you’ll need to do more to convince them that your business deserves their hard earned money.
The Importance of Conversion Rates
Would increasing your conversion rate make a difference to your business?
As a business owner, the success of your website will have a direct impact on the success of your business.
This means spending time thinking about the images you use, the content you add, your design layout and even the colours you feel represent you best.
All these little touches go towards tipping the scales in your favour when shoppers come browsing.
But without a compelling call to action, you risk missing out on turning curious clicks into conversions.
In fact, the benefits of a call to action can be the difference between a brand new customer, or that same person hitting the ‘back’ button.
In this way your call to action is one of the most important features on your website or landing page.
It’s the door that leads shoppers further into your website and down your sales funnel.
Wondering how to write the perfect call to action?
We’ll show you exactly how to craft the killer call to action and have customers knocking down your door.
The Irresistible Benefits of a Call to Action
It’s easy to throw up a ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Sign Up Here’ at the bottom of your landing page and hope you’ll be able to drive a conversion.
But that’s the definition of the spaghetti method – throwing your marketing strategies at the wall to see what sticks.
Sure, you might have some success, but without tracking your results and testing to see what works, your short term success will soon fizzle.
The importance of a call to action in advertising cannot be understated.
Random strategies get random results.
It’s not enough to have any call to action.
You need THE call to action to see the benefits.
A CTA that’s so compelling people will drop what they’re doing and focus their attention on you while their dinner burns on the stove.
The type of CTA that doesn’t just push the boundaries, but leaps the boundary and takes off into the distance, dragging your website behind it with a crowd of screaming shoppers in hot pursuit.
Ultimately, there are two main purposes of a CTA.
One – To tell someone what they should do.
Two – To give them motivation to do it.
The most common error when crafting a call to action is to focus on the first step, and completely forget about the second.
Many business owners tell their website visitors what to do.
But without giving them a relevant why they should do it, they fail to seal the deal.
Read on to make sure you never make those mistakes again.
5 Outstanding Call to Action Examples
Sometimes the best way to get really good at something is to draw inspiration from others who have mastered the craft.
When you see an effective and engaging CTA in action, you’ll be better placed to implement the same strategies on your website or landing pages, and elicit the same responses from your website visitors.
Netflix. They’re a household name, so they don’t need to waste time introducing themselves.
You’re either paying for a subscription or covertly using the account of someone else who is.
Which means they don’t need to waste time showing potential customers what they do or why you should care. Instead, they use their fleeting CTA moment to address the major obstacle standing in the way of conversions.
Despite their standing as an international titan of the streaming market, with over 95 million paid streaming subscribers and a valuation of $151 billion, they opted for a simple and succinct copy on their homepage.
In such a short space they address the greatest advantage to a Netflix subscription and overcome the major obstacle potential customers have in subscribing.
Even better, they’ve provided immediate value with a free month trial.
Visitors to their website are made immediately aware that there’s no risk attached with a Netflix account, at any moment from now until after their free trial has expired.
The benefits of a call to action, in this case a free month to trial the service, drives home the incentive to act as a classic ‘something for nothing’.
And who doesn’t love free stuff!
With savvy consumers well aware of the headaches caused by fine print, Netflix lays all their cards on the table.
By being open and honest about the benefits – no commitments on behalf of the customer and complete ability to exit the relationship with zero risks, they have nailed their CTA conversion optimisation.
#2 Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club saw space in the competitive razor market, despite Gillette owning 72% of the American market in 2012, to become a billion dollar company.
Through a direct to consumer subscription service for razors and other bathroom products, their ability to retain customers was a driving factor behind their one billion dollar acquisition by multinational conglomerate Unilever.
While smart advertising and a character filled digital presence were a central feature of their strategy, they also built a brand people love, delivered quality products, and connected with customers through an authentic marketing approach.
The copy on their landing page is an extension of their ability to connect with consumers and shows their penchant for the perfect prose.
‘Look, feel, and shave like a million bucks’.
The message couldn’t be any clearer.
But beyond their well worded copy, they subtly guide you towards a conversion with ‘try’ rather than ‘join’.
‘Join’ requires commitment. It’s a leap of faith that many customers will not feel ready to make.
But ‘try’ implies a toe in the water. It’s not going all in. It’s giving the customer a chance to sample the product without becoming a customer. And that’s a powerful motivator.
This makes people more likely to click their ‘Get Started’ CTA once they’ve arrived on the landing page.
With no mention of credit cards or contract lengths, both off putting for non commital visitors, they offer up benefits without any drawbacks.
While touches like these may seem irrelevant or innocuous, they are meticulously planned through ongoing split testing.
A commitment to conversions that plays no small part in the success of Dollar Shave Club.
Samsung. Sure, they’re no Apple but why hold that against them?
With a $14 billion marketing budget and shipping over 80 million units in the first quarter of 2018 alone, they’re undoubtedly a major player on the smart phone scene.
Along with Apple they hold over 40% of the worldwide smartphone market share.
But does that mean they rest on their laurels or take time off to scroll through their (undoubtedly Samsung) phones? Absolutely not!
Through their short and sharp CTA Samsung creates an instant sense of urgency.
The CTA text of ‘Pre-Order Now’ manages to accomplish two things in just three words.
The word ‘Now’ adds a sense of instant action.
Going deeper though, ‘Now’ taps into a psychological trait that consistently drives conversions.
Research has shown that most purchases are made on an impulse.
In fact, 83% of millennials have made impulse buys. Rather than demonstrate the weak will of millenials with a fistful of disposable income, this speaks to the ability of us all to succumb to immediate desire and purchase a product that was, just maybe, not a priority.
Samsung plays at this tendency with all the professional cunning you would expect of a company that makes up roughly 15% of South Korea’s entire economy.
Not only do they tug at your impulsive tendencies with the powerful ‘Now’, but they add the option of a ‘Pre-Order’.
This creates a sense of importance for people visiting their website.
It stokes feelings of being ahead of the game. The desire to get something first is a powerful motivator for driving conversions.
If you think that’s all they’ve got going on though then you’ve got another thing coming.
Flexing their creative muscle, Samsung effectively utilises negative space to make their CTA pop from the screen.
Visitors can’t possibly miss their CTA, with the call to action button made responsive and turning black with the text inverting to white when a user hovers their mouse above the words.
But that’s not all folks!
Samsung also establishes an instant hierarchy.
By adding the second CTA they give visitors a second option.
Or do they?
While they seemingly show visitors two options, they make it obvious that the ‘Pre-Order Now’ button takes priority by designing it as an actual button while the ‘Learn More’ option remains static.
Again this may seem subtle, but by contrasting a button against plain text they stoke the psychological desire to click the button.
These minor distinctions, whether consciously perceived or subconsciously processed, show users which option is preferable – helping conversions improve again.
This is yet another example of the way a website CTA carries power beyond the words it shows.
#4 Search It Local
Sure it might seem a little self-indulgent to put ourselves on the list.
But how could we hope to teach you the secrets of an enthralling CTA if we weren’t capable of creating one ourselves?
At Search It Local we’re experts at being experts.
Chameleons of the digital world, we think like our clients to take them from where they are to where they want to go.
Whatever that form may take the end goal is the same. Increase revenue.
But why burn your energy trying to spend money to make money, when you could save money to make money too.
We lean on the universal desire to make the most of a given opportunity by reminding our website visitors that there are other ways to succeed through online advertising, outside of blowing their budget.
We’re committed to helping our clients scale up in a way that works for them.
With that in mind we offer a free guide that pulls back the curtain of SEO and reveals the secrets to appearing on the first page of Google for free.
Using urgent and powerful language we remind business owners that success doesn’t come at a cost.
And that their journey begins with the single click of a button, the irresistible call to ‘Start Saving Me Money’.
Toms is more than your run-of-the-mill company selling shoes, eyewear and apparel.
Founded in 2006, Toms holds ethical issues near and dear to their heart.
In an attempt to walk a mile in the shoes of those less fortunate, they pledged to match every pair of shoes sold with a new pair of shoes for an impoverished child.
This ‘One for One’ ethos is at the heart of their company, having exceeded the 60 million mark for shoes given away, while expanding their altruism to providing prescription glasses, medical treatment or sight-saving surgery across 13 countries too.
More than forward thinking fashionistas, Toms knows how to craft a compelling CTA.
During a previous flash sale, this pop-up greeted visitors to the Toms website.
Let’s break down all the ways this works.
- The simple addition of ‘psst’ implies exclusivity. As if only the person viewing the pop-up is privy to this surprise sale.
- The entire CTA feels like a well guarded secret, with the description as a ‘Surprise Sale’ rather than ‘Flash Sale’ adding to this sense of importance.
- They clearly show the sale is for a ‘Limited Time Only’. Though this cleverly avoids an actual timeframe. Is this sale ending in an hour? A day? A decade? Ultimately it doesn’t matter. Anyone visiting the site is immediately drawn in to the urgency of the moment, and the desire to act and take advantage of the discount strikes at our desire to avoid missing out.
- Finishing off this work of digital art is the bright blue colour surrounding the obvious CTA button. It contrasts the rest of the pop up in an unmissable way, attracting the eye and acting as the final piece of this complex psychological puzzle to convince you that there is nothing you need more than a piece of Tom’s apparel.
If it wasn’t already clear, these 5 examples have shown – a great CTA is short, sharp, subtle and psychologically geared to drive action.
Call to Action Statistics
The benefits of a call to action can transform your business.
But don’t take our word for it.
We’ll let the figures do the talking. Studies have shown…
- More than 90% of people who read your headline will also read your CTA
- Emails with just a single CTA increase clicks by 371% and sales by 1617%
- Adding a call to action to your Facebook can increase your click through rate by 285%
- Reducing the clutter around a CTA button can increase conversions by 232%
- Making your CTA look like a button can increase clicks by 45%
But you’re not here for facts and figures. You’re here to learn the secrets behind a high-converting, eye-catching, jaw-dropping, traffic-stopping, must-click call to action!
So let’s get right into it.
How to Write the Ultimate High Converting Call to Action
We’ll be upfront with you. There is no single way to write the defining CTA of our lifetime.
With CTA’s required for businesses in a variety of different industries, what works for some would not work for others.
But you won’t leave empty handed. Here are the most important CTA rules for you to follow.
Keep these in mind when you’re working on your next masterpiece and you’ll be giving yourself every chance of success.
Step One – Emphasise low risk
Low risk is a proven way to compel people to take action.
And from a consumer’s perspective this makes total sense. The less risk that is involved and the less they stand to lose, the more comfortable they will be at the idea of investing their time.
If you’ve managed to attract a potential customer through Google Ads or Social Media Marketing, that doesn’t mean you’ve closed the deal.
Through emphasising the low risk involved with taking the next step, you make it more likely they’ll commit.
Step Two – Keep it simple
Style is nothing without substance.
The latest graphics, cleanest code, and award winning design can’t carry the load without the right words to back them up.
A strategy for attracting quality traffic is needed.
If your CTA copy doesn’t quickly, clearly and cleanly tell someone why they should take action, it has failed.
The words you use should connect with potential customers. Convince them that the only logical step is to click the button before them and become your next success story.
With that said you have endless options before you when choosing the words for your CTA.
Whether you want to target an emotion or feeling, or tempt through facts, figures, discounts or deals, your CTA should always be straight to the point.
Step Three – Incorporate action verbs
‘Shop’ – ‘Discover’ – ‘Watch’ – ‘Download’ – ‘Start’
How did you feel reading these?
Ready for action?
You’re not alone. These direct action verbs can turn your CTA from a message into a command.
They tell your customers what to do, giving no option but the action listed, creating specific choices that reflect your business goals.
Trying to convince people to download your Spanish learning eBook?
Don’t leave them with a dull ‘Click here for your eBook’.
Drive them into action with ‘Download today. Start speaking Spanish tomorrow!’
Give people the exact way you want them to move forward to increase the chances that they will.
Step Four – Focus on one goal
This ties into the above point.
Each CTA should focus on one goal above all else.
For example, if you wanted your website visitors to purchase a product, your call to action should reflect that.
While secondary results may occur – like increased brand awareness or form downloads, and these would be great for your business, they should not cloud the vision of your CTA goal.
To prove that no business is immune from making poor marketing choices, take Apple for example.
Running a Facebook ad to promote the release of their new iPhone model, the iPhone X, they have lost track of the focus of their CTA.
Choosing to rely on simplicity, with their significant brand awareness and the visual of the new phone speaking for itself, there is a clear disconnect between their headline and their CTA button.
‘Say hello to the future. Order iPhone X.
Yet the CTA button asks customers to ‘Learn More’.
This may seem like a minor change. But a CTA button asking people to ‘Shop Now’ may have captured the interest and converted it into immediate sales in a way that ‘Learn More’ does not.
And while most shoppers won’t peel back the CTA layers like this, these messages are delivered subconsciously and away from rational thought, meaning Apple runs the risk of losing momentum through this ad.
Step Five – Take your medium into account
The placement of your content will play a major role in the structure of your CTA.
Some situations will require extremely short call to actions. Others will give you the flexibility to play around a little with your language and style.
For a classic CTA button – that is the clickable option, not the text that precedes or follows it, it should typically contain six words or less.
Any more than that can dilute your message and cause the visual impact to suffer.
In contrast, a CTA placed on a blog post or website landing page can be much longer and may include several build up sentences to showcase the value of taking action.
As the CTA examples above showed, you can use creative copy surrounding your CTA button to maximise its impact, while still keeping the CTA button itself short and sharp.
When composing your own CTA, there are three ways to build from the ground up.
Simple and direct. There’s no wasted words and no needless frills.
These types of call to actions are ideal for clickable buttons.
- ‘Sign Up Now’
- ‘Discover More Here’
- ‘Reserve Your Spot’
- ‘Shop Low Prices’
Do This by Doing This
This is the next step in the CTA journey.
Show your visitors what the cause and effect outcome of your CTA would be.
By showing them an outcome, you remove doubt and suspicion, which modern consumers have in spades when confronted with advertising.
- ‘Get 15% off by joining our mailing list’
- ‘Download the guide to start saving money’
- ‘Subscribe to our newsletter for your freebie’
- ‘Donate $20 to plant a tree in your name’
Do This because of This
While the previous two structures bring their own unique strengths to the digital table. This final format answers the question that all consumers have lurking beneath the surface – why?
Why should they make a purchase, download a resource, subscribe to a mailing list?
You can show them exactly why they should take the next step, and if your reason is compelling enough, a conversion awaits.
- ‘Stop losing leads to your competition. Partner with Search It Local to grow your business’
- ‘Don’t suffer in silence. Discover a life free of pain by connecting with a masseuse’
- ‘Subscribe to our newsletter to learn the trade secrets that will double your ROI’
- ‘Sign up for a masterclass and discover the 10 proven ways to generate leads’
Demonstrate benefits and incentives alongside your desired action to increase your chance of a conversion.
15 Proven Call to Action Phrases
There’s nothing worse than a blog who promises you the world and provides you with a salesman’s phone number instead.
So we’ll show you exactly where the benefits of a call to action come from.
You can start creating mesmerising call to actions today with these 15 proven CTA words to help you get started.
#1 – Get Started
#2 – Sign Up Free
#3 – View a Demo
#4 – Learn More/Introducing/Join Now
#5 – Explore
#6 – Discover/Create/Promote
#7 – Get X% Off
#8 – Try For Free
#9 – Save Big
#10 – Buy and Save
#11 – No Obligation
#12 – Risk Free
#13 – Reserve Your Spot
#14 – Don’t Miss
#15 – Proven/Guaranteed
The ultimate goal of marketing, whatever industry you’re in, is to convince someone to take action.
If you take one thing away from all this, it should be that a great CTA cannot elevate your business on its own.
But a terrible CTA can torpedo you.
The benefits of a call to action come when you minimise risks, establish a simple entry point, are clear with your value, and invite immediate action.
- Use specific verbs unique to your business or industry
- Use simple yet emotive language
- Provide value
- Emphasise low risk
- Focus on one goal only
- Experiment to see what works
Keep these goals front and centre and you’ll be on the right track.
When you are creating content, whether that’s a blog post, an email marketing campaign, a pay-per-click landing page, or something else entirely, step back to see if your CTA is really doing the job it should.
Take the time to experiment with different call to actions to see what works for you and your industry.
Ultimately, there’s no single way to write the perfect CTA.
But by following the rules in this post, you’ll be on track to write the perfect CTA for your business.